Who Is Satrapi's Identity In Persepolis

Words: 720
Pages: 3

Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis displays a view into the Middle Eastern culture through the eyes of an ever maturing Iranian woman. Henry McIntosh argues that the primary purpose of this graphic-novel is to dispel the fallacies of western observers and display Iran’s multi-faceted culture for the reader(McIntosh, 2013). A more important theme arises when the reader analyzes the transformation and discovery of the main character. The primary theme of Persepolis is that one’s identity can not be found, but instead it is the cumulation of one's personality, current surroundings, and previous experiences.
Whether buying black market music or insulting nuns, Satrapi often exhibits herself as a rebel in Persepolis. The characterization of Satrapi
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While Satrapi’s physical surroundings may not always change, there is always a change in her political, social, or emotional environment that sparks a change in her identity. When Satrapi was a child she first wanted to be a Prophet of God because of her religious upbringing (6). At the time, she did not understand the social limitations of Muslim females in religion. Even after she understood this she still held tight to her dream which was a sign of her rebel personality (Starmack, Persepolis: Book Summary…). This identity is soon replaced when her uncle's execution by the religious members of her fundamentalist government. She soon undertakes a new identity of a social rights fighter for her family's maid because of her experience with inequality (39). Throughout Persepolis Satrapi shows at least nine other major identities: dictator (16), soldier (79), modernist (97), punk rocker (112), independent adult (149), popular girl (180), Iranian in the West (198), lover (214), Westerner in Iran (245), and idealist (290). Often Satrapi uses intense imagery and hyperbole to give the reader the ability to see the change in the identity of the character of Marjane. These changes in identity happen frequently and are always prefaced by a political, social, or emotional change in her life. While the identities usually have a clear start, many do not have …show more content…
While Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis does work to dispel many incorrect western assumptions about Iranian culture, the search for a dynamic identity must be the primary focus of the novel. This idea is supported by the continual presence of Marjane's search for self throughout the novel and her never stagnant identity. Without the same ever changing journey to find herself, Satrapi’s critically acclaimed novel would be just another sketch instead of the literary artwork that it